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Mother Drops Claim

October 22, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

The mother of a Northwestern football player who died in 2001 dropped a claim Tuesday against the manufacturers of a dietary supplement.

Linda Will issued a statement saying she believes coaches and staff at the university were solely responsible for the death of her son, Rashidi Wheeler, a former standout at La Verne Damien High.

In July, Will's lawyers amended their wrongful death lawsuit to include the supplement makers. At the time they said the statute of limitations was due to expire, so they added the companies as a precaution.

"It would be wrong for me to take money from the ephedra makers," Will told the Chicago Sun-Times outside court Tuesday. "I am not going to do a dishonest act. I'm not going to take money just because I can."

Wheeler collapsed and died Aug. 3, 2001, after participating in a conditioning drill. His parents sued Northwestern, claiming officials did not give their son, an asthmatic, timely or adequate medical treatment.

Northwestern said ephedra-containing supplements Wheeler was taking caused an irregular heartbeat that led to his death. A spokesman said Will's decision won't change the school's position.

Auto Racing

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was released from University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque after treatment for injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday.

Unser broke his pelvis in the accident near his home in rural Chama, N.M.


Cleveland guard DaJuan Wagner has an inflamed liver and pancreas and cannot have surgery on his right knee until his condition improves.

Cavalier General Manager Jim Paxson said Wagner's latest medical setback was caused by medication prescribed for the injured knee.

Wagner, 20, sat out 35 games last season because of injuries.


Washington General Manager Wes Unseld gave no timetable in a statement released by the Wizards on his return from double knee-replacement surgery Oct. 7.


Nine former Olympians pressed members of Congress to support legislation that would implement an overhaul of the U.S. Olympic Committee's management structure that the committee adopted over the weekend.

The athletes advocated a bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) that followed the lead of the USOC and would give athlete representatives an equal voice on the committee's new board of directors.

The Senate approved an overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last month, but International Olympic Committee President Jacque Rogge has warned that McCain's proposal would not comply with the IOC charter.

The USOC voted Saturday to streamline its governing body drastically by replacing its unwieldy 124-member board with eight directors, plus the three U.S. delegates to the IOC.


On the eve of a key inspection tour, the IOC remains concerned about delays in venue construction and transportation projects for the Athens Olympics next summer, the organization said in a progress report obtained by Associated Press.

The report cites prolonged delays in building a rail line from downtown Athens to seaside Olympic venues, and a suburban rail system to ease traffic from the airport to the main Olympic stadium.


Taylor Dent defeated second-seeded Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, 6-3, 7-5, leading three Americans into the second round of the Stockholm Open.

Robby Ginepri defeated Kristof Vliegen of Belgium, 6-1, 6-3, and Mardy Fish defeated Paul Baccanello of Australia, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Seventh-seeded Wayne Ferreira of South Africa lost to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, 6-4, 6-2.


Wimbledon champion Roger Federer began his bid for his first title in his home country, defeating countryman Marc Rosset, 6-1, 6-3, in the first round of the Swiss Indoors at Basel.

Two-time champion Tim Henman of Britain defeated seventh-seeded Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands, 6-2, 6-3, and fifth-seeded Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic defeated qualifier Arvind Parmar of Britain, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.


Defending champion and second-seeded Sebastien Grosjean of France defeated Stefan Koubek of Austria, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-5, and eighth-seeded Marat Safin of Russia lost to Fernando Vicente of Spain, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3, in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.


Seventh-seeded Paola Suarez of Argentina defeated Karolina Sprem of Croatia, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round of the Generali Ladies tournament at Linz, Austria.


Tickets are on sale for the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 8-21. Information: 800-999-1585.


Heather Wilbur, who competed for four years on the LPGA's developmental tour, died at Moncton, Canada, of complications from leukemia. She was 27.

The New Brunswick native competed in the 2001 U.S. Women's Open.

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